It’s the middle of summer and I had to wait 17 days for an Amazon Prime order to arrive. I was looking for the best price on a personal care product. I found a 2 pack on Amazon for $11, which was about a 40% discount. But I didn’t notice that the item was from a third-party seller located in New York who had a 29% one-star rating. It turns out that quite a few third-party sellers are located in either New York, California, or Florida. These are the three States that I try to avoid when ordering online. Often it is not the fault of the seller and blame for a late delivery is put on the US postal service. In this case, the tracking information said that the package was picked up on the 11th of July, but there was no updated tracking for the next 14 days.
On the 14th day, when it was time to place a refund request with Amazon, suddenly the package started moving through the postal system. The new delivery date was July 26 to July 28. I decided to wait, and the package finally arrived on the 28th, 17 days after I had placed the order. The only unusual thing about the product was that it was made in the UK, which I thought was weird. Anyway, I’ll probably never know why the package sat in a New York postal sorting center for two weeks. Another online order, this time from Ebay, is also running late. This one was from a seller in a State next door to mine. The seller’s address is a town just south of Madison, WI. But instead of the package going to Madison, it went to a USPS sorting center in Milwaukee 80 miles away. This added an extra 3 days to the shipping time. The package is due to arrive today, with 5 days for shipping. It is another item that I didn’t need urgently, but it feels like USPS is charging us more for a much less efficient service.
I the past two years I had been placing more online orders with Target. But I recently went to their website to put in an order for some staple items and found prices were noticeably higher than my last order. I found a YouTube video that explains what was going on at Target. It turns out that they have raised prices on the most common items that people buy to compensate for discounts on larger ticket items to reduce inventory. This is having a negative effect on earnings as reflected in a 20% decline in their stock price over the last six months. Target has lost some credibility with many long-time customers by trying to be all inclusive with their marketing and by using improper pricing tactics. This leaves room for an online retailer who can deliver a better experience for customers. Walmart is a lot like Amazon these days. They both host third party sellers and have daily price fluctuations. It leaves customers with a daunting task when trying to shop online.